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72 Miles of Pure Liquid Fun

All Summer Long, Lake Tahoe
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Safety Info: United States Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe, 2500 Lake Forest Rd., Tahoe City; (530) 583-4433

Becky Bell, project manager for the Lake Tahoe Water Trail, hopes their website will one day be as much of a resource for non-motorized lake recreation as the Sierra Avalanche Center is for backcountry skiers.

“While nothing beats a day on the lake, we want to remind everyone to keep their heads up for changing wind and weather conditions, other boaters, and to always wear your life jacket — it’s your lifeline,” Bell said.

Boasting 72 miles of shoreline, Lake Tahoe is a dream for summer recreation, and the LTWT breaks that daunting mileage up into trips that are as involved as circumnavigating the entire lake into quick, to more manageable day-missions that cover only a few miles.
The website, which includes an incredibly user-friendly interactive map, has everything from water safety precautions and wind patterns (see side bar) to a list of beaches where you can bring your dog.

Now enter the lecture. But don’t stop reading, this is important!

Lake Tahoe is a beautiful sanctuary of the Sierra. But, that does not make it free of danger. Unfortunately, over Fourth of July weekend one man who was kayaking without a lifejacket drowned and another was pulled from the lake, airlifted to Reno, and remains in stable but critical condition.

Bell explained that she and her team at LTWT want people to prepare for the inherent risks of non-motorized water sports such as wearing a life jacket and checking weather and marine conditions.


Summer Wind Patterns on Lake Tahoe

Before you even consider paddling or boating on Lake Tahoe, check the daily weather and water conditions. When lake wind advisories are in effect during the summer, it’s usually due to southwest winds. Paddlers should be aware that this means they could be blown offshore if paddling on the south and west shores.

If you’re on on the east and north shores you will need to be ready for substantial waves. Ironically, while an injury is much less likely along the west and south sides of the lake, there is a much higher chance of death after being blown offshore.

 
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April 12, 2018